[ed. note: From the diaries. I heard this podcast myself yesterday and am glad Sports2 has picked up the slack - seems like a recent theme - and did a write-up. I've heard (both from primary and secondary sources, although I have even fewer sources than Doug (Thonus, who's a moderator at the RealGM forum) who does the BullsBeat) some similar and differing things. I agree with Sports2 that Paxson deserves blame, but I also agree with Doug that a great coaching hire would magically fix a lot of things, although not directly. Someone other than Boylan would mean winning, and that fixes most of the 'chemistry' muckedy muck. That and the inevitable drafting of Tyler Hansbrough. -Matt]
[NOTE TWO: If you don't bother listening to the podcast, know that it's repeated many times that while this is based on sources it's not a formal report, and thus should be taken with a grain of salt. -Matt]
After listening to some of the inside dirt dished in the latest Bulls beat podcast (MP3 Direct Link), I sort of reached the conclusion that if things are truly this bad, change needs to occur a the top. Even if only some of it is true, my thinking is that Paxson ought to be canned for letting things become this much of a mess.
To summarize some of the main points I took from this:
- Tyrus Thomas is clueless on the court, really isn't trying hard enough, and isn't liked by, well, almost everyone.
- Luol Deng wants out.
- Nothing new, but Boylan is neither liked nor respected by basically everyone on the team.
- Noah has gone to significant lengths to try and develop his skills, and has received very little support from the Bulls.
- This seems to be true of almost everyone, and the craziest example to date is that Deng and Noah have apparently hired outside experts to give them extra coaching and film prep because the Bulls aren't doing what they consider enough.
- Plopping Gooden and Hughes into featured roles almost immediately rubbed Tyrus, Hinrich and Gordon the wrong may. In Tyrus' case, I don't know that his anger is justified since, at least in my opinion, there are still plenty of minutes available for Ty if he just takes them (since two bigs went out and only one came back in the trade) and since, frankly, Gooden is a much better player.
So add it all up...
... and you've got a big-time trainwreck. In the podcast, the suggestion is the only hope for the Bulls is to get a coach in to magically fix all this, but when I look at these problems, they're problems of management, not coaching.
Back to the bigger picture. In the podcast, the suggestion is the only hope for the Bulls is to get a coach in to magically fix all this, but when I look at these problems, they're problems of management, not coaching.
If you've let a situation go on for two coaches now in which players are trying to improve and not getting help, that's a problem of management.
If you've drafted a guy knowing he was surly and prone to not handling pressure well, but you didn't do anything special to create a supportive environment for him, then that's a problem of management.
If you've got players who are known for being good guys who try their ass off, and they're consistently exhibiting disrespect for their coach, you've hired a truly horrible coach and then let him negatively impact the team. In Bulls fandom people often talk about how bringing in the wrong element could harm players' attitudes. Like, bringing in a Zach Randolph or Stephon Marbury type might be a like bringing in a team cancer and a huge mistake. Well, what's a team cancer if it's not Jim Boylan? He's got to be up there with guys like Marbury when it comes to turning a team's attitude in the wrong direction. Just like we'd say it's a mistake by management to bring in a team cancer of a player, it's certainly a mistake to bring in a team cancer of a coach. That's a problem of management.
So add it up, and I don't see how this problem really gets fixed without new management. There are guys out there, like Donnie Walsh, who know what they're doing. Why not pick him up?